Friday, April 20, 2018
Colleges

American University: Network till you run out of cash

Location: Washington, D.C.

Admission difficulty: Medium

School size: Medium

Distance from home: 930 miles NE, with daily non-stop flights

Tuition: Let's just say you will be in serious debt unless you're rich or you devoted your high school Friday nights to extra credit research (roughly $40,000)

Orientation: Welcome to the school of social service. You want to study theatre? No, you mean community theatre. We all know that any major you choose is really a cover for "social service." The deadline to pay the $200 fee for your first volunteering experience is a week before your first day of classes. And, please carry your updated resume and cover letter on your person at all times.

Your new friends: Hi I´m Jessica, I´m from Portland and I don't eat anything motile or artificial/Hi I'm Chenguang but you can call me Katie/I'm Marcus "Peacock" Carner. Anyone who does not come out today and right now only helps perpetuate these heteronormative bonds/I´m Malcolm Cowans. I want to be the next Obama.

You'll love: The AU Abroad programs. Meet Chenguangs who are not called Katie. If you push yourself, you may even land a teaching job in China upon graduation. Maybe you're not quite ready for a completely different alphabet. No pasa nada. Vamos a Espana. You can study for a summer or for an entire year abroad through the university's partnerships with other institutions.

You'll despise: Fraternity fire alarm pranks. The "Home Cooked" section of the cafeteria unless you are part porcine. In which case, pig out.

Your social scene: If you're staying on campus, come have a hearty potluck with Students for Palestine or Students for Israel. Don't worry you can totally do both. If you feel more adventurous, the Kennedy Center graciously offers free concerts on their Millenium Stage 364 days a year. The Millenium has showcased artists like Norah Jones, French hip-hop duo Les Nubians, Somali rapper K'Naan and Peter Yarrow (of Peter Paul and Mary). Other venues offer discounted theatre and concert tickets for students. Whatever your palate desires, the city has it: Caribbean, Ethiopian, Peruvian and Indian restaurants all conveniently located on the same street in the heart of the nightlife hot spot, Adams Morgan.

Plus: Internships opportunities abound, whether you are interested in working on Capitol Hill or on a small documentary film.

Minus: The most revered sport at AU is networking.

Reviewed by: Dyane Jean Francois, a graduate of St. Petersburg High and a student at American University

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